Proper Drain Hole Screen Sizing for Peat + Sand Mixture

westes Zone 9a California SF Bay
November 8, 2019
last modified: November 8, 2019

I am using a commercial succulent soil named Gary's Best Top Pot. It's one of the best succulent soils I have found pre-mixed. The organics are peat moss but kept to 30% or less of the mix. For my direct-sun-exposed plants that do not get watered often, this soil is perfect. It retains water well but the low use of organics allows the soil to breath even when water saturated. The particle sizes are too small, but honestly I was making gritty mix from scratch and carefully screening, and gritty mix was killing my sun-exposed succulents. Gritty mix is phenomenal if I can put the succulent in the shade and also make sure it gets automatically watered. All of this is probably specific to my climate, and direct sun in California can get into the high 90F range often.

The problem I am having is that the small particles of peat and sand in Top Pot are clogging the small openings in the plastic screen I put at the bottom of the pot. What would be an appropriate aperture size for a plastic screen for such a fine soil? I could also put a small layer of pebbles or lava at the bottom of the pot as well, although that steals some of the pot space from the roots. I am open to suggestions.

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